Let’s say you’re a poet, and you travel sometimes to places where you don’t know any other poets, and you want to find an open mic.
Know anyone like that?
So lemme just say it can be hard, sorting through internet detritus to find a place where poets are welcomed and the restaurant hasn’t closed and the event isn’t on some unpublished hiatus. I’ve filed this complaint and shared some of my not-so-secret ways of researching open mics before.
But I’ve never told you how damn lucky are those poets who move to or visit the Triangle area.
See, here in the Triangle, we have a reliable source for 24/7 intel on poetry events. A single online place to go to find workshops, critique groups, readings, and yes (happy sigh) open mics where poets are not just tolerated, but welcomed.
What is this oracle, you ask?
Just a rock-solid group called Living Poetry, launched 8 years ago by a poet who saw an unmet need and filled it, and has since mustered a trio of volunteers to keep the events fresh and the information current.
These are people with day jobs. They may write for a living, but none are professional poets. They’re the kind of people who carry Moleskins held together with rubber bands. They get MFAs in poetry as a side thing—like, for fun. They blog about their poems. They find ways to use poetry to raise money for cat shelters.
(NB: Watch this space come April to find out what happens when you try to write poems on demand in a ballgown. Because by then, I’ll know.)
They host workshops and critique groups and book clubs and no-pressure gatherings where all you have to do is bring a poem you like. And beyond promoting its own events, Living Poetry curates poetry-related events run by other organizations or people in the area.
These are people who deserve flowers and trays of chocolate.
They create opportunities to connect, make it easy for us to find each other. They keep the rest of us local writers in the know. They’re supportive and curious about our work and our goals and that manuscript we’ve been nursing along for a decade.
Hell, sometimes they even buy the drinks.
So if you’re visiting Raleigh and you want to find a poetry event of any kind, lucky you, they’re here on Meetup.
And if you’re somewhere else and you don’t have an incredible cadre of organizer-samurai serving your city…well, grab a sword and knight yourself.
You could make something great happen.